KaZaa Suspends Downloads

By Robert Menta - 01/17/02

It looks like the first effects of the shutdown order against KaZaa are starting to manifest themselves. On the company's website, people looking to download the program - a program that is (was) the second most downloaded on Download.com - are met with this statement from the company:

Download of the KaZaA Media Desktop software is temporarily and voluntarily suspended pending Dutch court decision on January 31. We apologise for the inconvenience. Please check back at www.kazaa.com for more information.

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Right now there is no other information on the site, but more should be coming soon. If this should eventually lead to the shutdown of KaZaa, this would be the second win for the music industry against a P2P program, the first being Napster. Granted, a "win" is a subjective term here considering how easy it is for users to migrate to another service. It was Napster's closure that spurred the search for alternative services and vaulted KaZaa and its FastTrack brethren Morpheus to the top of the heap.

Stopping future downloads of KaZaa does not shut down the network. The big difference between Napster and KaZaa is that KaZaa does not require a central server. Theoretically this means that the tens-of-millions of copies of KaZaa already downloaded will continue to work on the FastTrack network. KaZaa has let it slip that they have the power to shut off all those copies, but whether that happens or not is another element that needs to unfold here. The record industry insists that there are elements of the service that are centralized, contrary to KaZaa's claims, and hopes to get the court to invoke pressure on the company to cease all activity as ordered for the duration of the trial.

We will follow up on this story as more information arrives.


Other Stories:
KaZaa Admits to Morpheus Shutdown? Says Bills Not Paid. - 3/4/2002
Morpheus Still Down. - 2/28/2002


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